Since it was an afternoon game, Ted and I settled in to watch Max Scherzer vs. the Marlins.  First inning and the slider was working.  2nd, 3rd, 4th innings and the Marlins had no chance.  5th inning and Ted demanded I take him out and play catch with him.

115 degrees in the shade and we’re back in for the 6th inning, and Scherzer hasn’t missed a beat while missing the bats.  Everyone knows everything there is to know about Scherzer.  He is at least the 3rd best starter in baseball, and likely second best, though who’s first?  Sale?  Then Kershaw and Scherzer?  I don’t know, Kershaw’s looked pretty human at times this year.  Sale, Scherzer then Kershaw?  Sounds about right, but need to search for other things to talk about with him.  Hmm…Well, there’s always his android eyes.

Now back for the 7th inning and it’s more no-hitter, and, Jesus Christopher Ramirez, the Nats announcers are a bore.  Let’s go mute for the 8th inning, and Dietrich gets, uh, diet rich of sliders.  Now, Ellis and goodbye no-hitter.  Of course, that was the point Dusty should’ve lifted Scherzer since even the announcers said Scherzer says he doesn’t want to ever throw past 120 pitches.  You guessed it, he went past 120 pitches, and lost the lead, but, once again, a dazzler — 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (2 hits), 11 Ks, ERA at 2.09.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).

I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.

Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.

While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.

But here’s the thing.

Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:

Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.

Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).

The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the past few weeks, Yasmani Grandal has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Despite being a pinch-hitter who sometimes wears the wrong helmet, he has been hitting .345 with a .392 wOBA over his last 30 days. Part of that has to do with an unsustainable .409 BABIP during that span, but most of it has to do with Grandal being locked in and being more aggressive at the plate. While he has a history of being frustrating to fantasy owners who aren’t utilizing him in OPS or OBP leagues, Hot Yasmani has been very different this season.

Regular Yasmani is a patient hitter who posts OBPs 100 points higher than a mediocre AVG, who walks 15% of the time and strikes out 25% of the time. He can hit home runs but hurts AVG in standard leagues. Last season, he rewarded fantasy owners with 27 home runs, which is great, especially at the catcher position. But, again, he hit just .228, struck out 25.4% of the time, and recorded just 86 hits. That means a third of his hits went for home runs. With 116 strikeouts and 62 walks, it also means that he either struck out or walked 50% of the time. Other than the home runs (which, again, are great to get at the catcher spot), those numbers are fine for OBP/OPS leagues but are not ideal for your standard leagues.

Hot Yasmani, 2017 Yasmani, is a different story. Hot Yasmani has no time for patience at the plate. He wants to eat. HY’s BB% over the last 30 days is less than 6%, and it’s below 10% on the year. He already has 42 hits and is on pace for well over 100 for the first time in his career. He his hitting around .300 after hitting below .235 the last four seasons. The home runs are down, for now, but he is making up for it with career marks in nearly every other offensive category (except walks, of course). I included HY in this week’s Top 100 because he is no longer just posting good numbers for a catcher; he’s one of the hottest hitters not named Charles Cobb Blackmon (full name, look it up) right now.

Now, for a few guys who are not so hot right now…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Atlanta rapper Young Thug were to re-release his song “Texas Love” this year, he’d probably change up the hook, instead rapping “If Texas love was a drug, you’d belong to me, Nick Pivetta.” Texas love is, indeed, a drug on Thursday’s FanDuel slate, as the Rangers take on Phillies starter Nick Pivetta at home in their wonderful hitter’s park. Pivetta’s got a 6.14 ERA in his three major league starts and has already allowed five homers in his 14 2/3 innings. To give you an idea about how much Stream-o-Nator loves the Rangers today, Rougned Odor ($2,900) is the second-best hitter on the entire slate for Thursday. And that’s not even considering his price, that’s his straight up raw output that SON expects. Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, and Shin-Soo Choo are all top plays coming in at a low price. You can legitimately just stuff as many Rangers as you can into your lineup, as SON expects production out of anybody who might start (except for Pete Kozma. Sorry Pete, the robot doesn’t account for grit.) Elvis Andrus, Delino Deshields…even Jared Hoying? You name him, because if Jeff Banister pencils him in on Thursday, he’s worth a shot in your lineup. After you get your fair share of Texas love, here are some more picks worth checking out…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jose Bautista is such a douche canoe.  He bat-flipped after a home run that cut the Braves lead to 8-4.  That’s like “Pimp my Ride” with a Hyundai.  That’s like moonwalking at a bar mitzvah with toilet paper on your shoe.  That’s like screaming at your recently ex-girlfriend, “I’ll never be alone, because I will always have my mom!”  He’s hitting .208, and hasn’t looked right since Odor ended him like Drago ended Apollo.  Any hoo!  This has nothing to do with Bautista.  Well, kinda.  Freddie Freeman was hit on the wrist, and then all hell broke out for the better part of the Jays/Braves games.   Freeman looked like he was in serious pain and he’s headed for an MRI and CT scan today.  I don’t own him, but I will join your prayer hexagon if you need me.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Good morning fellow Razzball readers. I’ve decided to throw a curveball and start the intro with an offensive player today. Just in case I have any friends or family members reading this post I have not left her at the Altherr, I just haven’t found the perfect ring yet. Aaron Altherr may slip through the radar since he is matched up against Gio Gonzalez. Gio has been off to a hot start however he is prone to the long ball, especially against righty bats. Altherr’s price tag comes in at a cool $7,200 which allows for some salary relief on a Colorado day. Let’s breakdown his stats, Alther currently has a .514 wOBA against LHP which is 6th in the league and he also has 3 home runs in 24 AB’s. I’m aware the sample size is small, however, this is DFS and we are searching for an edge anywhere we can find one. The wind in DC will not help the RHB as it will be a cross-wind of about 16 MPH.

Note: The 2nd game of both double headers are not included in the FantasyDraft main slate therefore I will be leaving those pitchers out of my write up today.

New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well, try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your FantasyDraft whistle.  It’s set to run Tuesday, May 9th @ 7:05 ET.  $5 gets you in the door and the contest will run regardless of number of entrants, so make sure you hop in.  Just remember to sign up through us before you do.  It’s how we know you care!  If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.

Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.

In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Humor me here…

Austin Hedges’ first 31 plate appearances of 2017 – .037/.133/.037 with a 9/2 strikeout to walk ratio.

Alex Bregman’s first 32 plate appearances of 2016 – .031/.088/.031 with a 10/2 strikeout to walk ratio.

Since then, Hedges has a slash line of .278/.289/.833 as he entered Monday night’s bout with the Diamondbacks. The most important driver in his .833 slugging percentage is the five home runs he has smacked since a rough start to the season. Well, make that six, as Hedges took everybody’s favorite former Colorado Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa deep in Chase last night (bring on the humidor!). In case you forgot about Bregman’s stretch after his rough start last year, the immensely touted prospect slashed .297/.372/.432 in his 42 plate appearances after the drought and finished with a 1.0 WAR after only 49 games. After this run by Hedges, I’m seriously considering a reworking of this column’s title.

Cheap home runs from the catcher wasteland? Sign me up.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When did Opening Day for the Padres become a laugher?  Was it when Corey Seager (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) homered off Christian Bethancourt?  You might remember Bethancourt was a catcher last year, but the Padres brought him back this year as a reliever.  If the Padres are going to make every one of their terrible hitters a reliever, their bullpen is going to get crowded.  Maybe that wasn’t the moment it became as cringeworthy as Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie’s romance.  Maybe it was the moment Jhoulys Chacin was pulled after giving up nine earned in 3 1/3 IP.  Considering this was the Padres’ best starter, the game score for their fifth best starter is going to be 38 to 1.  Maybe the moment an 0-162 season became a possibility was when Yasmani Grandal (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit his 2nd home run, tying Madison Bumgarner for the major league lead.  Or maybe it was the moment Manuel Margot (1-for-4, 1 run, hitting leadoff) tried to take first base after three balls, because he was facing Kershaw, and no one wants to face Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 8 Ks).  Kershaw must’ve felt like Meatloaf when he mowed down Dan Cortese’s 1999 Rock n Jock team.  Oh, and haven’t even mentioned Joc Pederson (1-for-3, 5 RBIs with his 1st homer, a grand slam).  He never gets any love in the preseason, but I can’t ever (I mean never) move past that he was the first 30/30 guy in the PCL in 80 years.  Kinda wish I owned Pederson in more (any) leagues.  Well, looks like LA now owns San Diego’s Chargers and Chacin.  Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles might be the next beneficiary.  Though, if LA takes San Diego’s navy, it’ll prolly only be used in a West Hollywood musical featuring Village People songs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?